26 JULY 1935, Page 16

A Spring Idyll

One reason why new birds are recorded is that the number and zeal of watchers increase. A paragraph contributed by one of them is too good not to repeat, though it concerns one of the commonest London birds. The scene is St.

James's :

" One of the most charming sights in the Park is the idyllic scene ' Love in Crocus Time,' which is enacted every spring by the wild Duck (Mallard). When the frenzy and excitement of courtship subside the happy pairs resort regularly to the grassy bank on the north side of the lake, and there, among the crocuses, each couple snuggling close together and quite separate from. the rest, they sleep or preen for hours on end in peace and contentment. It may he that the crocuses are only accidental accessories, but my belief is that the position is chosen because the spiky leaves of the plant provide the birds with a suggestion of a natural reedy cover. Whatever the explanation may be, however, the group on a sunny day presents a very pleasing picture of wedded bliss."

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